That was a really good performance last night. Straight from the off we looked like we actually posed a threat and played with a really good intensity in the final third. I mentioned it a few times on the commentary, but it was just great to see players being prepared to have a shot. I think in the first-half alone we did more attacking than we had done in all our previous home games this year combined.
I really didn't understand what Duffy was trying with the three man midfield of Langan, Wedderburn and Forbes. But, actually, when you saw it in person it made a bit of sense. All three might not be able to run particularly quickly (or very much), but they are three good players with the ball at their feet. I spoke to Adam Frizzell after the game and he mentioned that he felt the reason he did so well was because we weren't as direct, and that came from the midfield. So fair play to Jim Duffy for trying out the new midfield three. Rabin obviously gave us legs when he had to come on in the first-half, which changed things a bit, but the three who started did a far better job than I had feared.
In saying that there wasn't a player who didn't deserve pass marks last night. Sam Wardrop was the only one who didn't hit the standards we know he's capable of, and I do wonder if Duffy might fancy pitching Nick McAllister back in on Saturday given how good he was against Montrose at RB.
Morgyn Neill and Ryan McGeever were their usual selves, and absolutely dominated Sean Brown and Greig Spence, who looked every bit Lowland League and League Two players respectively. If Ryan Wallace and Kevin Smith had been able to start then I think we would've seen a very different game.
McGeever took his goal well, and it was an absolutely lovely delivery from Forbes, but the East Fife defending was seriously shoddy. I've no idea why, given he's now got three goals against them in five games for us, East Fife don't double up on him. Since we came down EF have had really issues defending set-pieces though, so maybe it's not exclusively McGeever who is going unchallenged. He could've easily had a hat-trick last night, but for a poor finish and a smashing Jordan Hart save.
Further forward the front three looked the closest thing we've seen to a functioning strikeforce all season. James Wallace, Robert Jones and (especially) Adam Frizzell all played well, and all complimented each other.
Wallace looks a real livewire and, for someone who is genuinely 5"5 at the very most, his hold-up play and ability to link the game was really impressive. I'm hopeful we'll see a lot more of him in the coming weeks. Likewise Adam Frizzell finally showed the ability we know he has - but that we only get in flickers. It wasn't just his goal; his all-round play was a lot better. He was trying difficult passes, not afraid to shoot and just looked to flourish with three ball-playing midfielders behind him.
As for big Robert Jones, well he must really dislike East Fife, because he won more in the air than I can ever remember. He put in a power of work and, whilst he should've been hooked 10 minutes before he was, I thought he played his role really well. It's not a fashionable one, it's not pretty, and it's all graft for little reward - but he looked like a pretty handy League One player.
That just gives me time to mention Ross Forbes. Two assists and a missed penalty. He's now on 7 (seven) assists for the season. Granted three were against Huntly, but given how much we have struggled this season going forward that is a very impressive return. Especially for a man who has had only a handful of decent games. I thought he was good last night. His ball through for the second goal was excellent and, by and large, he was good on the ball and worked hard defensively. Looked a threat too and it felt like he was playing with a point to prove after the Airdrie match. He obviously isn't everyone's cup of tea because of the way he plays - but he's got plenty of quality that most players in this division lack. He just needs a team that plays to his strengths.
Hopefully it's not a false dawn and the players can build on the recent results and performances against Falkirk, Aberdeen, Montrose and EF this weekend and heading into the run-in. I do think last night highlighted something major though. And I say this as his biggest fan. We looked to have more balance in our midfield without Carsy...